This film is part of Free

The Daily Round: The Story of Milk Production and Distribution

Indulge your nostalgia for the old-fashioned milk bottle with this Express Dairy promotional film from the 1950s.

Promotional 1954 22 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


Remember waking up to fresh milk on the doorstep? The founder of the Express County Milk Company (later Express Dairies) revolutionised the daily supply of fresh dairy products, with fast transport from rural farm to London. This glossy promotion markets the company’s slick operation in the 50s, with bottling, testing and distribution handled at the South Morden plant, and delivery by express “milk train” from its own private sidings on the Wimbledon – Sutton line.

This film by the Turners Film Unit of Newcastle includes footage of the Express Dairies College Farm in Finchley, London, bought by entrepreneur George Barham in 1868 for the site of a new, experimental dairy farm. Barham believed there was an alternative to watering down milk with Thames river water and making cream with snail slime. The first British bottled milk was produced at College Farm in 1884. By 1902 the farm functioned as a showcase for the best dairy livestock and became the first farm to test dairy for diseases in 1921. By the 1950s Express Dairies started to sell off many of its London farms, but kept College Farm, largely as a public relations exercise.